WBO lightweight champ Ricky Burns says he’ll be back in February, wants a rematch with Raymundo Beltran
By James Slater
WBO lightweight ruler Ricky Burns, last seen hanging onto his title via a very controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran, has told BBC Scotland he aims to be back in action in February and that his goal is to give the Mexican who broke his jaw a rematch. Burns was decked by Beltran back on September 7th and after the completed 12-rounds most people thought Beltran had done enough to take the title. But now Burns, his jaw on the mend, is ready to put things right by giving Beltran another shot.
“I think it’s only right to fight Raymundo again,” Burns said. “I think it’s the fight the fans want to see. My jaw is on the mend. It’s healing the way it should. I’ve been doing light training and hopefully I’ll be back boxing in five to six weeks. I think people know that wasn’t the real me in that ring. I was in survival mode from the second round. I wouldn’t say it crossed my mind that I would never fight again but I was thinking, ‘is the same thing going to reoccur?”
A Burns-Beltran II would almost certainly appeal to the fans but Beltran would likely have to travel once again to Scotland. The WBO would of course have to approve the fight, and accommodate Burns’ mandatory challenger, the unbeaten Terrance Crawford, but promoter Eddie Hearn says it is still too early to make any decision on what happens next for the 30-year-old from Coatsbridge.
“I think he [Beltran] deserves his shot and, more importantly, Ricky wants to put the record straight,” Hearn said. “The key now is the rehabilitation of Ricky Burns. We can’t rush things. We really won’t know until he is back sparring, taking blows on that jaw again.”
If the rematch does happen fans will be intrigued to see whether the capable Beltran can repeat his excellent performance, or if Burns simply had a bad night.